Synopses & Reviews
Buddhism asserts that we each have the potential to free ourselves from the prison of our problems. As practiced for more than twenty-six hundred years, the process involves working with, rather than against, our depression, anxiety, and compulsions. We do this by recognizing the habitual ways our minds perceive and react the way they mislead. The lively exercises and inspiring real-world examples Cayton provides can help you transform intractable problems and neutralize suffering by cultivating a radically liberating self-understanding.
This is truly a manual for becoming a happier and kinder person.”
Rasmus Hougaard, managing director of the Potential Project
Karuna Cayton's analysis and method in The Misleading Mind are well thought-out and should be a great help to readers.”
Lama Zopa Rinpoche, spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition
The Misleading Mind is a self-help manual full of accurate descriptions of traditional Buddhist teachings, recipes for mental health, and a map of the paths leading to a productive and well-balanced life.”
Jeffrey Hopkins, professor emeritus at the University of Virginia and president of the UMA Institute for Tibetan Studies
The Misleading Mind shares the profound depth of Buddhist psychological wisdom in a wonderfully inviting and accessible way. I highly recommend it.”
Peter Fenner, PhD, teacher and author of Radiant Mind
Through his many years of deep study of Buddhist psychology, sincere introspection, and work at helping others, Karuna Cayton has gained genuine wisdom, which he generously shares in The Misleading Mind....This is a clear, grounded, and useful guidebook for working with the mind and heart.”
Lorne Ladner, PhD, psychologist and author of The Lost Art of Compassion
To everyone who has ever gone to a therapist, bought a self-help book, consulted an astrological chart, or cracked open a fortune cookie in hopes of feeling happy, The Misleading Mind
offers a radical message. We can
achieve lasting emotional health, and we can take responsibility for it ourselves, but only if learn to master the nasty tricks our minds naturally play on us. The more we explore, understand, and even come to appreciate our own self-destructive mental attitudes, the more control well gain over our minds, and the more authentic and wonderful our lives will be.
As thousands of years of Buddhist psychology teaches us, unhappiness is fundamentally a subjective state. To overcome problems and achieve lasting happiness, we must look inward and understand how we continually thwart our own well-being by giving in to feelings and thoughts that cause us pain. By taking control of our minds and engaging these destructive feelings and thoughts head-on, we can eliminate them from our lives, alleviate suffering, and reach our true potential.
The Misleading Mind is one of a new wave of popular psychology books presenting a comprehensive and clinically effective therapeutic process based on traditional Buddhist wisdom. Offering psychological insights from ancient texts and drawing on real-life examples from Karuna Caytons therapy and coaching practice, as well as his years living in Buddhist Nepal, the book argues that lasting happiness requires a longer-term approach than Western psychology typically presumes. We cant permanently prevent or alleviate conditions that cause or lead to depression, anxiety, addictions, or eating disorders solely by taking this pill or changing that superficial behavior. Rather, we need to take time to develop a deeper awareness of human psychology and the way our problems actually arise. There are no shortcuts. No matter what our religious backgrounds, real, lasting happiness means doing the hard work of learning to see ourselves as the problem-creators we really are. It means gradually evolving an awareness of our self-destructive tendencies from the inside out.
By exploring a basic Buddhist tenetthat we have an innate capacity to be free of problems, and therefore happythe book methodically explores the nature of problems and how they take root in our lives. In clear, lively prose, the book then shows readers how they can put themselves on a gradual path toward identifying unhelpful thought patterns that contribute to their own problems. With the aid of anecdotes, exercises, and helpful advice, readers learn to study and understand their problems better, to take firm ownership over them, to transform them, and ultimately, to translate their new awareness into action in the world.
Karuna Cayton has twenty years experience helping people work with their problems to achieve happiness. As a respected psychotherapist, business psychologist, and coach, he has treated hundreds of individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, panic attacks, broken relationships, suicidal thoughts, lack of sexual energy, excessive sexual energy, feelings of loneliness and abandonment, and many other conditions. His coaching clientele includes top executives from companies such as Aruba Networks, 3com, Martin Land Company, FPMT (a leading Buddhist organization), and Onstor. During the mid 1970s and 1980s, he spent twelve years immersing himself in Buddhist psychology while working with Tibetan refugees in Nepal, including study with renowned Buddhist masters. He holds a masters in clinical psychology from JFK University and interned at Stanfords renowned Childrens Health Council. He received coaching training from Hargrove and Associates, have served as a senior consultant with the Global Consulting Partnership, and belong to the International Coach Federation and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
Our society prefers quick fixes, but when it comes to happiness, easy answers dont suffice; they only address our problems at a symptomatic level. We must have the courage and patience not only to become familiar with our underlying neuroses, but to engage, enjoy, celebrate, and appreciate them. Then our problems change shape, or as Buddhists say, They become ornaments we can wear.” Lets slow down and take an honest look at our unhelpful thoughts and emotions. The results will surprise us. To millions of readers, even those with serious, seemingly intransigent problems, The Misleading Mind will prove transformationalthe first step on a long but fulfilling journey to their own best selves.
About the Author
Psychotherapist Karuna Cayton spent 12 years working with Tibetan refugees in Nepal and studying with Buddhist masters. His Karuna Group practice applies Buddhist psychology to individual and organizational clients. He lives in Northern California.